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2007-09-17 11:00:00

$143 Million in HUD Grants Will Protect Children from Lead

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $143 million in grants to dozens of state and local communities, public health organizations, and scientific research institutions to help protect children and families from dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. The funding announced today is expected to reduce or eliminate lead exposure in more than 10,500 homes nationally, and reduce levels of allergy-inducing substances in more than 780 homes. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and may even cause death at high levels.

"Today, we are making our homes safer and healthier places in which to raise our children," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "In particular, HUD is awarding these grants as part of our commitment to help communities eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010."

HUD and two of its federal agency partners, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operate the National Lead Information Clearinghouse, where parents, property owners, and other members of the public can get information about lead hazards and their prevention. The Clearinghouse has a toll free number, (800) 424-LEAD, and a web site, www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/nlic.htm, both of which provide information in English and Spanish.

The following is a breakdown of the funding:

Grant Program Award

Amount

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control
in Privately Owned Housing 

 $76,400,000

Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program

$54,700,000

Lead Outreach Grants

 $1,187,519

Lead Technical Studies

 $3,499,997

Healthy Homes Demonstration

 $4,986,974

Healthy Homes Technical Studies

$2,000,000

TOTAL

 $142,774,490

HUD grants will help 65 state and local projects around the country to conduct a wide range of activities including cleaning up lead-based paint hazards and improving living conditions of lower income families. Through these six grant programs, HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead and other hazards from lower income homes; stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control; educates the public about the dangers of lead-based paint; and supports scientific research into innovative methods to identify and eliminate health hazards in housing. A complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded grants today can be found on HUD's web site.

Lead Hazard Control Grant Programs

Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.

The funding announced today includes $131 million to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income housing units. These funds are provided through HUD's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs. HUD will also award $1.2 million in Lead Outreach grants for public education campaigns on what parents, building owners and others can do to protect children. Further, $3.5 million will assist research to study methods to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of lead hazard control strategies.

Healthy Homes Initiative

A variety of preventable health and safety hazards threaten children every year. The funding announced today includes nearly $5 million in demonstration grants to identify and eliminate housing conditions that contribute to children's disease and injury, such as asthma, mold exposure, and carbon monoxide contamination. HUD is also investing $2 million to support scientific research into new ways of identifying and eliminating health hazards in housing.

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